Evolutionary theory claims that men value physically attractive partners while women desire partners with high status. Normally, we think of status in terms of income, but we can divide men in terms of their sexual success with women. Physical attractiveness is correlated with youth, so I calculated the age difference for married couples. The following is the average number of years that the husband is older than the wife (General Social Survey, sample size = 338):
Mean number of years that the husband is older than the wife by husband's income
This is the opposite of what we predicted: the age gap is smallest for the high-income. Evidently, wealthy men and their wives are more egalitarian, while poor couples are more traditional.
And by number of sex partners since age 18?
Mean number of years that the husband is older than the wife by sex partners since 18
The mean bounces around for the lower numbers, but the men with 20 or more sexual partners have the youngest wives by far.
Sexually successful men seem to be trading their appeal for more youthful wives, but this does not seem to be the case for men with lots of money.
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